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By Gabriel Marcel

Song performed a principal position within the considered existentialist thinker Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973). essentially the most tantalizing claims he made used to be in a collection of conversations with Paul Ricoeur. utilising a geographic metaphor, he claimed that philosophy was once the continent of his paintings whereas his performs shaped the off-shore islands; yet what used to be private used to be song because the water that conjoins the 2. one that needs to appreciate how he considered song will locate that his philosophical writings include just a couple of, quasi-aphoristic, notwithstanding considerably penetrating issues in regards to the nature of track and its relation to his idea. Disappointingly, neither his brief "An Essay in Autobiography" of 1947 nor his better autobiography of 1971, Awakenings, provides a lot to that past a couple of feedback. however the latter paintings makes connection with a piece of writing, "La musique dans mon vie et mon oeuvre," a lecture he introduced in Vienna in 1959, that became out to be a considerably richer resource. And if one turns to his bibliography, one discovers that, as a track critic, Marcel released over a hundred goods on music--including Musique dans mon vie"! None of them are available English. these of better size and philosophical curiosity have been collected jointly, in addition to a number of shorter consultant items, within the paintings entitled L'esthetique musicale de Gabriel Marcel that seemed within the Presence de Gabriel Marcel sequence. in an effort to enhance and deepen the appreciation of Marcel's proposal within the English-speaking international by means of following up his realizing of the important position of tune in his inspiration, but additionally to underscore the vital position of track in his notion, but additionally to underscore the significant value of the cultured inhuman adventure, we now have chosen the most articles that seemed in that paintings for translation the following. Marcel complained that (as of 1959) commentators had no longer paid major cognizance to the shut connection among song and philosophy. the current textual content may still therapy that.

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Extra resources for Music and Philosophy

Example text

In any case, I am not proposing here to give even an outline of a general theory of music. I am trying to bring out how musical experience has irrigated my thought. To speak of music as a victory over death is in reality to express the same thought. It is not enough to say that music is a means of access to the eternal; that would be misleading. One must say that it is a transmutation by which life simply lived becomes thinking or, more exactly, illuminating in such a way that the other recognizes himself in it beyond all the changes, all the destructions of what we call history.

S. 2 W hen you so kindly asked me to come give a lecture in the city of Vienna, which, even though it has become familiar, keeps and will always keep its prestige for me, I quite naturally thought that I would speak of what music has been for me in the course of my entire life, not only on the surface but in depth, even if, in order to express myself on such a subject, I had to undertake a veritable interior foraging, by which I mean digging beneath the appearances of everyday life. Whatever one may say, the fact of growing old constitutes for the human creature a cruel trial, first of all because it means inevitably surviving those who are often for us the dearest, those whose disappearance mutilates us, wounds us to such a degree in our integrity that from that point on we feel forever weakened.

It is a matter of sadness for me to note that the most recent developments in music remain unfortunately foreign to me, like those of painting for that matter. I would we lying if I did not admit it. Nothing would strike me as more dishonest than to feign an admiration or an interest that I did not feel. I should mention here that, from since I was eighteen or nineteen, I have scarcely ever given up improvising on the piano. It was an uplifting experience, and one that is very difficult to translate into words.

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